When Sally Lloyd-Jones came for an overnight jaunt to the farm, our kids sort of thought it was a bit like the Queen was coming — I mean, they both have the loveliest British accents. And our kids have been raised up on The Jesus Storybook Bible, tattered and beat-up copies now, from much, much love — so Sally was like a bit of wonder and love coming for tea — or just bacon and eggs. We stayed up too late listening to Sally’s stories and tales and captivated by way her eyes danced with her laughter. Born in Kampala, Uganda, raised in East, and West Africa and at a boarding school in the New Forest, England, Sally now lives in Manhattan and enjoys dividing her time between the front half of her apartment and the back. She’s a riot. You can’t help but fall in love with this woman of deep theological truths and endearing warmth. We absolutely loved everything about her — and are counting the days till she comes back. So in this season that is known as Easter on the church calendar, the farm’s front porch is humbled and ecstatic to welcome Sally’s wonderful words today…
I was walking through the canyons of New York City in what seemed like an endless winter when I looked down.
A tiny, impossibly green shoot was pushing its way up through the hard, icy ground. And with it the words of Martin Luther broke through:
“Our Lord has written resurrection not in books alone—but in every leaf in springtime.”
And I had found my Easter Story.
It’s called: Bunny’s First Spring.
Hope and renewal and rebirth are at the heart of things.
As the little tumbling bunny discovers as he explores creation in the first year of his life.
The world in winter looks so much as if it’s dying—and yet, and yet …
The frozen streams heard him sigh…
“We’ll run again!” they seemed to cry.
The tall dead grasses all were rustling…
“But we’re not dead, we’re only sleeping!”
The lost flowers were singing on and on…
“But we’re only hidden, we’re not gone!”
That tiny green shoot preached to me that morning. About hope. About joy.
And about vulnerability—which isn’t weakness, but true strength.
Everywhere we look, God is speaking to us. His creation is singing to us. The Heavens are shouting it out. It’s not what it looks like! There is hope beyond the walls of the world!
Below the snow
Hidden in every root,
Inside every bud,
In every seed,
A secret was stirring…
And sure as the sun rising, new life returns.
As if God is finding every single possible way He can think of to reach out to us.
To tell us what is true.
To let us know He is there.
That Joy is at the heart of things.
That a Light shines beneath it all.
That Love runs the universe.
“Pilgrims often journey to the ends of the earth in search of holy ground, only to find that they have never walked on anything else.” Scott Russell Sanders
Children seem to know they are on the holy ground.
Perhaps because they are closer to it—literally. Is it something about their smallness? About their inability, their need to trust for all they are given? Is that what makes them truly humble? (By which I mean, not that they think less of themselves, but think of themselves less.)
Children see rightly.
They have a right sized view of themselves in relation to the miraculous wonder-filled holy world in which we have been set down.
They are like their Heavenly Father that way.
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead.
For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.
But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.
It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon.
It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.
It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
The more childlike we become — the more like God we are.
And really, it shouldn’t surprise us that God is “younger” than we are.
After all, it wasn’t a general, or a warrior, or a politician God sent to rescue His broken world —
It was a baby.
Sally Lloyd-Jones is a New York Times bestselling children’s book writer. Her books include ECPA Devotional book of the year, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, the Gold Book Award-winning and ALA notable, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name and the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller How to Be a Baby: By Me, the Big Sister.
Bunny’s First Spring this is an absolute gem of a book in lyrical, soothing prose, traipsing after a bunny through the four seasons, all speaking to the cycle of rebirth — of God’s plan of resurrection. A gentle, artful faith-filled parable, it includes a paraphrased quotation from Martin Luther about God’s promise of new life being revealed in springtime as well as in books — particularly the Book of books, His Word. Delicate watercolor illustrations in award-winning McPhail’s distinctive style are filled with beautifully warm details and one for children to linger over. A perfect, gorgeous read — for every child — to read again and again.